The Encouraging Power of Prayer

One effective way to be an encouragement to others is to pray for them. There is nothing dearest to my heart to hear someone caring enough for me to take the time to pray on my behalf. I feel covered by an invisible shield of God's protection. I am so thankful for those prayer warriors who pray for me and pray for one another. Those prayers are such an encouragement to me!

Eph 3:16-17 "I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love." NIV

Were you aware that it could be a sin to fail praying for others? Read on:

1 Sam 12:23 "As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you." NIV

Prayer is of such an importance in God's eyes that He encourages us to James 5:16 "Pray for each other so that you may be healed." NIV Prayer encourages the person you pray for. Prayer "heals" the person you pray for. How else could a person be blessed, but by the presence of God's Holy Spirit!

Last week (this was written in January of this year) I joyfully went to church. I had decided to keep my snow boots on, instead of wearing my dress shoes, as there was quite a lot of snow on the road. Whenever possible, I try to keep my feet dry!

However in the middle of the praise service, our pastor called all associate pastors and some homegroup leaders to come up front to pray for those in need.

I immediately told myself "Too bad I can't go up front. I wouldn't look great with those snow boots on!" As soon as I had uttered that thought, I felt someone was looking at me. When I glanced to see who that might be, I noticed Dominique looking at me (she is the one who makes sure who comes up front to pray and help those who answer Altar calls) and to my horror she insisted that I come up front. "Oh no! How can that be?"

I came up front and stood like a clown among dignitaries, as all the pastors and homegroup leaders around me were well dressed and had beautiful, shinny shoes on. How embarrassing!

God's Spirit quickly took over, and I was standing there praising the Lord. Before long someone from the audience came up to me and asked me to pray for him. He needed healing from pain in his right knee. The Lord took over and before I knew it, prayers were pouring out of my mouth, uplifting my bother who was in pain. I will never forget the look of that brother after I had finished praying for him: he was radiating the peace and love of the Lord and thankfully he went back to his seat.

That day I realized that it doesn't matter what you look like or how you are dressed: prayer will bless and uplift the person you pray for. Prayer is of such an encouragement that people who are prayed for start to radiate the peace of God. Coming up in front of the church was well worth it, even if I was not appropriately dressed (I won't wear snow boots to church again, however!). Hallelujah!

Will you join me and encourage someone through prayer today? May I encourage you to do so daily and let the person your pray for know that you care enough to pray for him/her. Watch and see the encouragements pour into that person's life. God is faithful! Hallelujah!

Rob Chaffart

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